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All Square

John (Michael Kelly, House of Cards) is on the skids. A former pro baseball pitcher who washed out of the majors, he now spends his days as a two-bit bookie chasing down deadbeats who don’t pay up and taking care of his infirm dad (Harris Yulin). Business is not what you’d call good, until John hooks up with an old high school flame (Pamela Adlon, Better Things). It turns out she has a son in Little League, whom he takes under his wing—and suddenly discovers that underage ball games are an untapped market for the degenerate gambling crowd. Part sad-sack character study and part outrageous, hysterical social satire, director John Hyams’ sports gem, which won the Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival, plays like gangbusters—think Bad Santa meets The Bad News Bears. It’s the sort of beautifully warped father-figure comedy that leaves folks laughing and cringing in equal measures. You can bet on it.
Sun, Oct 7 8:15 PM
Mon, Oct 8 3:30 PM
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All These Small Moments

Howie Sheffield's road to adulthood is off to a rocky start. His arm is in a cast. His parent's growing tension hangs heavy in their New York brownstone. And he's infatuated with an alluring mystery woman who rides the same bus as him. As the title suggests, All These Small Moments carefully curates episodes from Howie's turbulent family life, his precarious dealings at school, and the interactions he manages with the mysterious blonde on the bus. These moments feel innately human and fresh thanks to an understated approach from first-time director Melissa Miller Costanzo.
Sat, Oct 6 8:15 PM
Sun, Oct 7 8:45 PM
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Any Wednesday/Two for Dinner: An Afternoon with Eleanor Coppola & Allie Light

Co-presented with SFFILM, esteemed Bay Area filmmakers Eleanor Coppola and Allie Light discuss their ventures into narrative cinema after decades as documentarians.
Sat, Oct 13 4:30 PM
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Beautiful Boy

SPECIAL SCREENING: Culling from the bestselling memoirs of both father and son David and Nic Sheff, Oscar®-nominated director Felix van Groeningen’s (The Broken Circle Breakdown) English-language debut is a kaleidoscopic and moving portrait of an American family coping with addiction. Frequent Rolling Stone contributor David (Steve Carell) sees his teenage son Nic’s (an unforgettable Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name, MVFF 2017) marijuana use as harmless experimentation until he begins to spiral out of control on heroin and crystal meth upon leaving for college. What follows is a alternately inspiring and unflinching look as a family begins the long cycle of rehab and relapse, hope and dread. Filmed in San Francisco and Marin County, Beautiful Boy features a diverse soundtrack which includes John Lennon, Nirvana, and Sigur Rós and outstanding supporting performances from Maura Tierney and Amy Ryan as Nic’s maternal figures.
Sat, Oct 6 3:00 PM3:00 PM
Mon, Oct 8 2:00 PM
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Ben Is Back

Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges command the screen in Oscar®-nominated writer-director Peter Hedges’ riveting family drama. With touches of suspense and surprise throughout, Ben Is Back traces the 24 hours of a teenage prodigal son’s return to his family’s home from his sober living community for Christmas.
Fri, Oct 12 6:00 PM
Sun, Oct 14 8:00 PM
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Boy Erased

SPOTLIGHT: Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, and Russell Crowe deliver astonishing performances as a devoted Baptist family whose lives are turned upside down after a malicious phone call outs their teenage son, prompting them to send him to a church-sponsored gay conversion camp. Seventeen-year-old Jared reluctantly agrees to his preacher father’s ultimatum: Fix your same-sex attraction or leave the family. Quickly, Jared realizes that the camp’s aggressive, manipulative methods are doing little to shift his own sexual proclivities or those of his peers (which include Canadian auteur Xavier Dolan and pop superstar Troye Sivan), bringing him to a crossroads that will forever alter his life. In his second directorial outing, actor Joel Edgerton (Loving, MVFF 2016) takes the role of the camp’s leader. Edgerton’s adaptation of Garrard Conley’s harrowing memoir is a sensitive, elliptical coming-of-age tale that depicts a universal story of personal struggles that threaten to dissolve fam
Sun, Oct 7 6:00 PM
Tue, Oct 9 3:00 PM
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Bushwick Beats

What do a single mother with ALS, a vampire, and two lovers stuck in separate timelines have in common? What about an aspiring young graffiti artist, a middle-aged widow, and a teenage poet? Though their paths don’t always cross, their lives unfold in Brooklyn's vibrantly multicultural neighborhood of Bushwick, which becomes a distinctive character that ties these six diverse shorts together. The street art, cramped apartment quarters, and sprawling rooftop views characteristic of Bushwick help give these otherwise stylistically disparate stories a sense of visual continuity, as the characters take on challenges that may otherwise be insurmountable if it weren’t for the power of unconditional love. At times poignant and at others absurd and comical, Bushwick Beats speaks to the resilience of the human spirit. This thrilling omnibus feature boasts a roster of diverse, up-and-coming NYC filmmakers, including Sundance Film Festival award winner Anu Valia
Sun, Oct 7 4:30 PM
Mon, Oct 8 9:00 PM
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Can You Ever Forgive Me?

SPOTLIGHT: When her once-lucrative career as a journalist and celebrity biographer hits hard times, Lee Israel (a marvelous Melissa McCarthy) discovers a new avenue for her literary skills that will help pay her mounting bills: the specialized art form (and criminal enterprise) of forging witty and salacious personal letters from the likes of Noël Coward and Dorothy Parker and selling them to collectors. With a penchant for rubbing people the wrong way and an unmistakable preference for cats over humans, Israel finds kinship in fellow outsider and streetwise British dandy Jack (a resplendently reprobate Richard E. Grant), and together they become partners in crime. Adapted from Israel’s memoir of the same name and co-scripted by Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said), the sophomore feature from Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) offers a humorous and moving portrait of a dynamic oddball couple and their engaging misadventures in early 1990s New York City.
Wed, Oct 10 6:30 PM
Sat, Oct 13 11:30 AM
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Chained for Life

“Actors and actresses who are beautiful start with an enormous advantage, because we love to look at them.” Pauline Kael’s quote opens Chained for Life, which takes place on the set of a campy exploitation flick. In the film-within-a-film, Mabel (Jess Weixler, Teeth) plays the beautiful, blind protagonist who falls in love with a disfigured man (Under the Skin’s Adam Pearson, who himself has neurofibromatosis) while they both await life-changing surgery from a mad scientist. When the director yells “cut,” the exploitation melts away, and we see the film’s cast (made up of actors with a wide variety of genetic physical differences) finally in circumstances that allow them to be in charge of their own narratives. This deeply original dark comedy, ripe with film references cinephiles will delight in, satirizes the film industry without cynicism; it’s ultimately about inclusion and the power in telling one’s own story—a refreshing rebuttal to Kael’s statement.
Tue, Oct 9 6:00 PM
Wed, Oct 10 9:15 PM
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The Chaperone

In this handsome period piece perfectly suited for cinephiles of all stripes, director Michael Engler (Downton Abbey, 30 Rock, Six Feet Under) and screenwriter Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey, Gosford Park) bring a fascinating slice of pre-Hollywood history to light in a coming-of-age story centering on the relationship between the young, free-spirited and soon-to-be international screen starlet Louise Brooks (a riveting, high-intensity Haley Lu Richardson) and her tee-totalling chaperone (a wonderfully nuanced Elizabeth McGovern).
Sat, Oct 13 12:45 PM
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Collisions

The devastating impact of the United States’ increasingly draconian immigration policy falls on one family in this breathtaking and timely first feature. With her passion for science and going to the mall, Itan Bautista is a typical San Francisco 12-year-old. But she is also responsible for caring for her little brother, Neto, while her mother, Yoana, works one of her four jobs—until the day the children return home to discover their mother missing after an ICE raid. The siblings end up on the doorstep of their estranged uncle Evencio (Jesse Garcia, Quinceñera), a hard-drinking truck driver with little interest in them. As ICE shuffles Yoana between detention centers, Itan is left with the burden of finding her mother, managing Evencio and Neto, and keeping up with her studies. Local writer-director Richard Levien puts the weight of his film in the hands of young Izabella Alvarez as Itan to mesmerizing effect.
Fri, Oct 12 8:45 PM
Sun, Oct 14 12:00 PM
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Destroyer

SPOTLIGHT ON KARYN KUSAMA: Karyn Kusama and Nicole Kidman are a match made in cinema heaven: Where Kusama ups the ante on genre, Kidman matches her by delivering one of her most extraordinary, transformative performances to date. Director Kusama (Girlfight, Jennifer’s Body, The Invitation) has a knack for looking genre in the eye and twisting it so we will never quite see it in the same way. In Destroyer, it’s the LA noir cop thriller. And it’s Erin Bell (Kidman) who breaks the mold of our expectations. When we first see Bell, she is gaunt, haggard, haunted. She is at a murder scene that recalls the past, when she and her then-partner Chris (Sebastian Stan, I, Tonya, MVFF 2017) had worked underground amongst a ring of young, violent criminals that ended badly, leaving her scarred and traumatized. In a plot that plays with time and memory, Bell is forced to confront the personal and professional demons that destroyed her past while struggling to, perha
Wed, Oct 10 6:30 PM
Sun, Oct 14 1:45 PM
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The Front Runner

When the winsome, youthful, and camera-ready Senator Gary Hart—the favorite to win the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination—suddenly dropped out of the race, he wasn’t the first US politician to take a nosedive following the bombshell revelation of an extramarital affair. But the Colorado pol’s meteoric descent would set the course for the ongoing media obsession with public officials’ private lives, focused on salacious details rather than policy and public service. More of a thought-provoking and nuanced ensemble drama than a time capsule, writer-director Jason Reitman’s (Up in the Air, MVFF 2009) latest depicts the sometimes surprising, often poignant, and always compelling ripple effects of the scandal upon the people closest to Hart (a superb Hugh Jackman), including his independent-minded wife (a quietly magnetic Vera Farmiga), his flinty campaign manager (Oscar® winner J.K. Simmons), and the scrambling clutch of journalists who dredged up and disclosed t
Tue, Oct 9 6:00 PM
Wed, Oct 10 11:15 AM
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Green Book

OPENING NIGHT: For classically trained Black jazz piano prodigy Dr. Don Shirley and his white chauffeur and bodyguard Tony Lip, a 1962 concert tour of the American South proves an eye-opening experience in unanticipated ways. Peter Farrelly’s sharply observed drama, spiked with wry humor and inspired by real-life events, features the prodigiously gifted Oscar® winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, MVFF 2016) as the ultra-sophisticated, polylingual Shirley, an elegant, mannered outsider wherever he goes and a transformed Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic) as his truculent, semi-illiterate lip. Tooling around rural roads in a highly conspicuous turquoise Cadillac and getting into—and barely out of—life-threatening encounters together, each starts to see the real man beyond the other’s surface. The period details are spot-on, and so are the hate and the horror that greet a Black man in the Jim Crow South. Ali and Mortensen are pitch-perfect as an improbably matched pair, often
Thu, Oct 4 7:00 PM7:00 PM7:30 PM
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The Hate U Give

SPOTLIGHT: Starr Carter (a sensational Amandla Stenberg) is the queen of code switching: living one version of herself with her tight-knit family and neighbors in their Black community of Garden Heights, and another with her classmates at a predominantly white private high school across town. When she becomes the sole witness to the shooting death of her childhood friend, Khalil, by a white policeman, the two Starrs have no choice but to collide—often explosively. Does she stand up for Khalil and speak her truth? Or does she keep quiet and protect herself from the violent forces within her own community? Based on the bestselling young adult novel by Angie Thomas, George Tillman, Jr.’s (Notorious) powerful drama addresses not just police brutality but the root causes of the racial inequity and injustice that permeates American society. Stenberg (The Hunger Games) leads a stellar cast that also includes Common, Issa Rae, Anthony Mackie, and Russell Hornsby and Regina Hall a
Sun, Oct 7 5:30 PM
Thu, Oct 11 2:00 PM
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If Beale Street Could Talk

CLOSING NIGHT: In arguably the year’s most anticipated film, Academy Award® winner Barry Jenkins follows his iconic Moonlight (MVFF 2016) with a poetic, astonishingly realized adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel about a pregnant 19-year-old woman in 1970s Harlem who fights to free her innocent husband from jail before their child is born.
Sun, Oct 14 5:00 PM5:00 PM5:00 PM5:00 PM
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The Kindergarten Teacher

SPOTLIGHT: In one of her finest turns to date, Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Lisa Spinelli, an engaged, slightly bohemian kindergarten teacher who notices an uncanny knack for poetry in Jimmy, one of her young students, in this arresting drama that took home the directing prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Perfectly inhabiting ankle-length skirts, flat shoes, and oversized jewelry, Gyllenhaal taps into fathomless wells of empathy (which border on pathological obsession) as Lisa, whose attempts to nurture and capture on paper Jimmy’s rare gift are met with concern from the child’s family as well as her own. Inspired by Israeli director Nadav Lapid’s 2014 film of the same name, Sara Colangelo’s beautifully realized second feature makes some noteworthy pivots from Lapid’s, while still asking a complex question without easy answers: How do we preserve the natural talents of our generation’s Mozarts amid the spoils of our modern world?
Fri, Oct 12 6:45 PM
Sat, Oct 13 11:30 AM
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Little Woods

She “forgot to be scared”—that’s how Ollie (rising superstar Tessa Thompson) got caught the first time, for being a drug dealer of Canadian meds in the North Dakota oil and gas boomtown she calls home. Since going straight and switching to dealing hot coffee, clean laundry, and quips with the lonely local roustabouts, Ollie’s gotten plenty scared—of losing the house her mother left her, about making it through her probation, of blowing a job interview. When her estranged sister Deb (a shape-shifting Lily James) comes to her with a desperate plea, Ollie talks herself into one last big score. First-time writer-director Nia DaCosta shapes a taut anti-western about sisterly bonds within a gray landscape of men and industry. Though the villains are intractable—opiate addiction, the broken US healthcare system, exploitation of the land and people—the performances of Thompson and James blaze through the bleakness.
Fri, Oct 5 4:00 PM
Sat, Oct 6 8:00 PM
Thu, Oct 11 11:45 AM
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